2007 Domaine Grand Veneur "Champauvins" Côtes du Rhône-Villages
91 points Robert Parker: "The top Cotes du Rhone, the 2007 Cotes du Rhone-Villages Les Champauvins, is a serious effort that could easily be mistaken for a Chateauneuf du Pape. Sweet black cherry fruit, seaweed wrapper, licorice, pepper, and spice aromas are followed by a wine with a broad, savory mouthfeel, sweet tannin, and a long finish. It should drink well for 4-5 years." (10/09) Grand Veneur's "Champauvins" is always one of my top picks for those seeking a Châteauneuf-du-Pape-esque wine without the accompanying $30-plus price tag. Broad and expansive, with beautifully fine tannins and a nice thread of underlying acidity, the 2007 Champauvins pulls its all off, despite its prodigious 15% abv. Garlic-studded roast leg of lamb? Grilled sirloin steaks with fresh herbs? A hunk of salami? Anyone? (Mulan Chan-Randel, K&L Wine Merchants) 15% abv.